Easy Meals

Quick and Delicious

Fettuccine Carbonnaise
Fettuccine Carbonnaise. Linda Larsen

Every cook has a collection of recipes for easy meals that are considered "fail safe", and I'm no exception. Never mind that I've made puff pastry, have been making bread from scratch since I was 13 years old, and love cooking the most complicated recipes I can find.

Sometimes, when the dinner hour approaches, I need to pull out an easy recipe that I can make in my sleep. And that goes double when I've been testing recipes all day! I always choose an easy recipe that uses ingredients I know are in my pantry, fridge, or freezer (see Your Personal Mise En Place for more ideas). Browse through this list of super easy recipes and add some to your repertoire; in fact, memorize a few so you can make them practically in your sleep. They will never fail you!

The first list of recipes for easy meals is a group of entrees that are so simple, they are more just a list of ingredients and how to combine them. And the second list comes from my Recipe Box; those that are the easiest of the easy.

  • Tomato Tortellini
    Cook frozen tortellini according to package directions along with frozen stir-fry peppers and onions. Drain and stir into heated spaghetti sauce along with a splash of heavy cream. Top with Parmesan or Romano cheese.
  • Cacciatore Chicken Sandwiches
    Cook frozen breaded chicken patties according to package directions. Spread cut onion buns with butter and toast until brown. Place patties on buns, and top with heated pasta sauce, shredded Havarti cheese, and some sliced avocado.
  • Easy Spaghetti and Meatballs
    Bake frozen fully cooked meatballs according to package directions, and prepare frozen stir-fry peppers and onions. Stir into heated spaghetti sauce and serve over cooked and drained pasta. Top with Parmesan or Romano cheese.
  • Italian Shrimp And Broccoli
    Heat undrained diced garlic and herb tomatoes and a spoonful of tomato paste with frozen broccoli. Stir in cooked shrimp, simmer until hot and serve over rice, refrigerated (heated) mashed potatoes, or cooked noodles.
  • Creamy Chicken And Asparagus
    Cook fresh or frozen asparagus and add to bottled Alfredo sauce along with shredded Swiss cheese and frozen cooked, diced chicken. Heat over low heat until hot and serve over cooked fettuccine.
  • Swedish Meatballs
    Heat frozen cooked meatballs and frozen mixed vegetables with a jar of brown gravy in heavy saucepan until meatballs and vegetables are hot. Stir in some sour cream and a bit of nutmeg. Serve on heated refrigerated mashed potatoes.
  • Steak Supper
    Broil your favorite type of steak (I like ribeye). Combine a jar of drained mushrooms, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon of honey mustard, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce in small pan; heat until hot. Top steaks with sauce and serve over mashed potatoes made from flakes, or refrigerated mashed potatoes, heated according to the package.
  • Cheesy Tortellini
    Cook refrigerated or frozen tortellini and frozen peas in the same pot until pasta is tender and broccoli is heated through. Add refrigerated four cheese alfredo sauce along with some shredded mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese and heat.
  • Meatball Sandwiches
    Heat frozen cooked meatballs and some frozen green beans with a jar of spaghetti sauce. Spoon onto split and toasted hoagie buns and top with mozzarella cheese slices. Broil about 1 minute to melt cheese.
  • Olive Pizza
    Top a Boboli pizza crust with chopped olives, green onions, red bell peppers, salsa, and shredded Cojack or Pepper Jack cheese. Bake as directed on crust package.
  • Smoked Salmon Pizza
    Top a boboli pizza crust with softened cream cheese, then spoon refrigerated pesto on top. Top with soft cold-smoked salmon strips and Havarti cheese. Bake as directed on crust package.
  • Tuna Alfredo
    Cook bow tie pasta with frozen mixed vegetables and drain well. Mix with canned, drained tuna, shredded provolone cheese, and refrigerated Alfredo sauce and heat. Top with grated Romano cheese.
  • Salsa Wraps
    Brown chicken breast pieces in olive oil in skillet, and stir in some salsa. Cook until chicken is thoroughly cooked, then shred chicken in the sauce. Layer on warmed tortillas with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sliced avocado, and sour cream. Fold tortilla and serve.
  • Shrimp and Couscous
    Heat together cooked shrimp, a can of tomato sauce, 1/4 cup chopped green onions, 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, and undrained Italian diced tomatoes. Serve over couscous, cooked according to package directions.

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